London, Nov 06 (BAN): In late October, Paryavaran Mitra (PM), an Ahmedabad based social enterprise and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partner ran day-long workshops which simulated the urban waste management problem in Indian cities at several UK universities.
Waste management is an issue that is dominating global headlines, especially with the impact that single-use plastic has on the environment. Governments, companies and individuals in the UK, and globally are being challenged to change their practices to ensure they cause the least possible damage through their activities. While we (think) we have time to discuss environmental issues in the UK, women in India are facing the consequences of these issues right now.
Over 80 students across four universities took on the role of either rag-picker women in India, who make their livelihood from collecting waste, householders or scrap shop dealers. Students took on these roles to build empathy and experience some of the deep-rooted challenges faced by the women Paryavaran Mitra works with and the systemic challenges to find a solution. A student from Imperial College Business School said: “This workshop has really reminded me that I want my career to make a difference.”
Through the workshops, participants learned about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the values and actions needed to make a difference on the difficult societal and environmental issues of our times. A faculty member from the University of Bristol said: “This workshop has been very impactful and as a university, we want to support our students to broaden their career horizons through unique learning opportunities such as this.”
The workshop organisers expect that the student and university relationships formed will lead to research and internships to further strengthen the work on the ground.
If you’d like to find out more about PM, the UN SDGs or to bring the workshop experience to your communities, companies or institutes please contact Anand Mistry or Ashish Agrawal at firstname.lastname@example.org.